AFC TOTTON V PLYMOUTH PARKWAY – MATCH REPORT SATURDAY 14 AUGUST 2021
Parkway travelled the 5 hours to AFC Totton for their first ever game in the Southern League Division 1 (South). Prior to kick off a minutes silence was impeccably observed by the teams and all in the crowd of 335 to remember the victims and families of Thursday’s tragic events in Plymouth.
The hosts got off to the brighter start with an early shot going wide and Callum Rose doing well to block a goal bound effort on 5 minutes. From the resultant corner the former Plymouth Argyle defender Stephane Zubar planted his free header just over. Totton’s dominance continued and on 8 minutes Jordan Ngalo’s angled drive from close range cannoned off the post. Parkway gradually got to the pace of the game and on 13 minutes a strong run forward by Rose saw him link well with Mikey Williams and Callum Hall forcing a corner which came to nothing. The hosts continued to threaten seeing another break along their left ending with a shot flying just over.
Parkway continued to compete well winning a free kick some 40 yards out on 15 minutes with Tom Bath heading just over. Totton continued to look dangerous on the break and on 17 minutes a long ball found their player going clear only to be denied a shot on goal by a superbly timed last ditch tackle by Rose on the edge of the 6 yard area.
Parkway were struggling to gain or retain possession in midfield however on 20 minutes a strong run by Ryan Lane along the left saw his cross into the danger area cause problems in the hosts defence who eventually cleared after blocking shots from Bath and Matt Andrew. On the half hour sloppy Parkway play in midfield allowed Ethan Taylor to race clear only to see his effort blocked by the Parkway defence.
Totton continued to dominate possession in midfield and look to hit long diagonal balls putting the Parkway defence under pressure. On 33 minutes Parkway had a strong claim for a penalty turned down after Andrew had gone clear down the left only to be bundled over in the area with a goal kick being awarded. Immediately from the goal kick a long ball along the left saw Kyle Moore race from his goal only to be rounded with the resultant cross being cut out by Lane to deny the hosts the lead. They did however take the lead on 37 minutes from a contentious penalty after Moore going for a loose ball just inside the area was deemed to have made contact with an opposition player. Jack Hoey fired low to Moore’s right with the keeper just failing to get a hand to the ball.
As half time approached Parkway won another free kick wide on the left which was cleared and dropped to Bath who fired wide from around 18 yards. A tight half with Totton looking the more dangerous with their direct style of play creating the better chances. Parkway however generally defended well but were unable to gain control of the midfield with their attacks being sporadic and being unable to provide the quality in the final third to create many clear-cut chances.
On 47 minutes Totton almost doubled their lead. Parkway again needlessly conceded possession in midfield allowing the tricky and speedy Hisham Kasimu to be put in the clear only to see his goal bound strike superbly saved by Moore at full stretch. Parkway gradually began to have more possession in midfield with River Allen, Billy Palfrey and Andrew seeing more of the ball and becoming more influential. On 51 minutes good build up play along the left ended with the ball being laid into Palfrey whose effort from around 18 yards was pushed away by Lewis Noice for his first meaningful save of the game.
On 52 minutes Parkway made 2 early substitutions with Jack Crago replacing Hall on the left and Aaron Bentley coming on at right back for Harrison Davis who appeared to have picked up a slight injury. On 55 minutes Totton’s Ngalo became the first player to be booked for persistent infringements followed closely by Bentley for handball having been turned and bundled to the ground. Parkway began to control the midfield with the hosts dropping deeper looking to contain and absorb the pressure and seemingly content to hold on to their lead and play on the break. On the hour Brett Williams replaced Taylor for Totton as Parkway continued to probe an opening but unable to penetrate a resolute home defence well marshalled by Zubar.
Parkway continued on the front foot winning a series of free kicks in the Totton half but lacked the quality of delivery to trouble the home defence. Good work by Allen on 62 minutes saw his dangerous cross cleared behind for a corner which Rose headed narrowly over. Craig Veal replaced Bath up front for Parkway on 65 minutes as they continued to search for an equaliser. Totton continued to absorb the pressure, pressing hard in midfield and denying Parkway time or space to create many openings. Another Parkway free kick on 73 minutes saw Allen’s angled curling effort fly harmlessly wide.
Totton made their second substitution on 75 minutes with Freddie Read replacing Ngalo. Despite Parkway enjoying their fair of possession they remained unable to create any clear chances and on 78 minutes were fortunate not to concede a second goal. Another long ball over the defence saw Kasimu and Moore in a race for the ball outside the 18 yard area with Moore’s clearance rebounding off Kasimu towards goal with Moore winning the race to recover the loose ball on the dead ball line with a corner being awarded. Parkway continued to prompt and probe with the busy Veal having an angled shot comfortably saved by Noice on 82 minutes. Moore then tipped over an effort on 85 minutes with the hosts continuing to look dangerous on the break but not committing too many players forward as they looked to see out the game. The final substitution came on 89 minutes with Craig Feeney replacing the lively Kasimu.
Parkway continued to look for an opening during the three minutes stoppage time but were unable to breech a well organised and composed Totton defence. A close game of fine margins against a side who have been there or thereabouts at the top of the league for the last couple of seasons and are strongly fancied to go close again this season. After a tentative first half Parkway were much improved in the second but were unable to show the guile or composure in the final third to create too many clear chances.
Despite the defeat, lessons will have been learnt and positives taken in an encouraging display but with improvements required in some areas. The journey continues this Tuesday when Frome Town, 1-0 winners at home to Highworth Town today, visit Bolitho Park with a 1945 kick off. On a personal note your correspondent was delighted to meet up with an old Royal Navy colleague Bill Peters who lives locally and helped to build the ground at its current location and along with his wife Georgie ran the bar and clubhouse until 10 years ago. He even managed to squeeze a pint out of me!
|August 14, 2021||3:00 pm||The Pitching In Southern League||2021/2022|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|